Former Director, MIT Media Lab; Professor of Media Technology, MIT; Author of The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices.
to revive creativity in America.
When Frank Moss was just a boy, America had its eyes trained on the stars. The whole country was devoted to one goal: making it to the Moon. We made it, of course. And we made it there on the strength of our innovations.
Frank was inspired by those days. He never lost his passion for science and space: he earned a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, and from 2006 to 2011 he was Director of the MIT Media Lab, where many of todayís most ground-breaking technologies took shape. But he also never forgot the key lesson of the "Moon Shot": innovation means invention.
Now, ďinnovationĒ has become such a buzz-word these days that itís easy to forget what it really means. Too often, we associate it with simple business strategy. We imagine that we can stay ahead in a market of ideas just by calling in a consultant and applying a cookie-cutter model of success.
But innovation means coming up with something new. It means creativity and a willingness to take risks. Only genuinely fresh ideas will let you stay ahead in todayís market — and contribute something meaningful to todayís world.
Thatís Frank Mossí message. He calls himself an ďinnovation activistĒ, because heís on a mission to revive the kind of innovation that made this country great. And if anyone understands what that means, itís Frank. Heís a business founder with ten-odd companies under his belt and two exciting start-ups in his pocket right now. Whatís more, his five years as the Director of the MIT Media Lab taught him the attitudes and approaches that allow for true innovation. And heíd love to share them with you.
The MIT Media Lab, in case you donít know, brought us the technologies behind Amazonís Kindle and Activisionís Guitar Hero games. Itís a fantastic hotbed of no-holds barred creativity, where scientists and students invent and experiment without any fear of failure. Itís an atmosphere that allows such ground-breaking innovations as prosthetic ankle joints and an inexpensive smartphone accessory that lets you give yourself an eye exam.
The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices,
gives you a tour of this amazing innovation centre.
His time at the Lab inspires Frank to say the true impact of technology is still to come. Now Frank is calling for a Moon Shot for health: a rallying of American creativity to come up with genuinely life-changing innovations. Heís got his eye on affective computing, the technology that would allow an autistic child to read a friendís expressions with the help of an iPad app. One of his own start-ups aims to compile the nationís menus to help consumers plan a healthy diet. Thatís the kind of invention Frank believes in — technology that makes our lives better, not just easier.
Itís an inspiring message, with real consequences for your business culture and your bottom line. After youíve heard Frank deliver it, with his easy charisma and deep personal engagement, youíll be in a position to do more than work a couple tips and tricks into your business plan. Youíll be part of the new wave of innovation coming to this country — the same ambitious, risk-taking, creative spirit that sent us to the Moon.
What kind of innovator will you be? Will you just take a small step? Or are you ready for that giant leap?